Archive for the 'Vegetables' Category

The Pump House Vege Garden Grows!

Ok, it was a bit of a slow start – and the wind does still wreck havoc on the odd occasion and totally flattens my tomatoes – but it turns out that the garden is quite resilient and bounces back every time! I attempted to take some photos of the vege garden and all you can see is green, green, green….. I hope you like green….

I am going to start with a before picture – back when seeds were being planted and the weather was bitter and all hope of summer and sun and veges growing was fast disappearing…..

But, summer did turn up in the end and seeing we have a ‘micro climate’ here at the pump house cottage the results were very lush…

It is hard to tell what is there from the pictures – but we have been eating:

Yellow, green and purples beans (purple are best!)

Courgettes (and some marrows..)

Baby carrots – pulled, washed, steamed, eaten!

BBQ corn

Three type of potato par boiled and fried in butter on the BBQ – is the best way to eat new potatoes!

Towering Tomatoes

 Yellow and red cherry tomatoes – the bubs eat them like lollies straight from these gigantic tomato plants!

Spring onion (bbq’ed with sausages in blankets)

Apple cucumber & Lebonese cucumbers (the best cucumbers I’ve ever grown!)

Gherkins – not sure what to do with these – suggestions anyone?

Stawberries & blueberries – these are fought over and I even think the repilers have been pilfering them….

Eating stuff from the garden makes our friday night camping trips to the pump house cottage feel like we are living off the land – I harvest and the produce gets thrown straight on the BBQ or in a steaming pot of hot water on a gas ring. We are like some ‘back to basics’ reality show!

Now all we are waiting for in the garden are the pumpkins, onions, and parsnips…..

Potatoes and Peas at the Pump House Cottage

Check out the produce from the pump house cottage garden. Finally there is something resembling a harvest!

This was the pea harvest for christmas dinner. We didn’t even bother cooking them – the kids love to eat them raw – they treat them just like lollies!

The peas have been great – no only feeding us, but providing a wind break for the only tomato plants producing tomatoes.

Talking of tomatoes – the first was eaten from the garden tonite!

After being potato rustlers for a couple of days – snatching a peeping potato here and there – we decided to go for it and dig in. Laurie controlled proceedings, I dug and Laurie shouted and pounced each time a red skin peeked out! They were dutifully collected in her green sandpit bucket and delivered up to the house for everyone to ooh and ahh over.

We ate these for dinner tonite – steamed and served with Paul Newman original salad dressing on the side for ‘dip’

There was lots of ‘hmmmms yummmmms’ all round.

Merry Christmas from the Pump House Cottage

The Brand!Merry christmas to all!

The folks here at the pump house cottage are celebrating by decorating the flegling pine growing in the jungle (a mere baby pinus radiata at only 4 metres!) with fairy lights and are planning to eat a christmas dinner of roast lamb, potatoes and kumara (thanks Prestons and Pak n Save) with sides of peas and brocolli and a salad of lettuce, spring onion and radish all (from the jungle/garden).

A small crop of strawberries will be harvested and served with cream and trifle – little will be remembered after this point as the rest of the day will pass in a sherry induced haze. 

I hope the rellies/friends/neighbours enjoy the newly branded pump house cottage elderflower cordial and marmalade.

So, the first festive beer has already been consumed, and pak n save has been cleaned out of $8.99 Lindaur rose. Auntie ann is coming around and the festivities will roll on into the new year if the Lindaur supply holds out.

My recipe for a great christmas – family & good friends, good food, happy smiling bubs, sunshine and bubbly.

Cheers! And have a great christmas!

Funny Thing About Strawberries

I could have sworn my strawberries just weren’t ready yet – but unless bird netting has magical maturing qualities it is odds on that the birds or perhaps my children have been plundering the strawberry patch – both don’t wait for them to get red and jucy .

To explain – All of a sudden, since putting on the bird netting – I have a bumper crop of strawberries… Hey I’m not really complaining – I got around to the netting task just in time for strawberries to double in price at the supermarket for christmas.

How Does Your Garden Grow

Well mine grows, and grows and grows – oh the pleasure obtained from watching the little cerubs scoffing peas, straight from pods, not 10 seconds picked. This is the life! If only my precious peas could be used to barter for stuff – then I wouldn’t need to do any work! Dreams……

To confirm – Yes – the ever expanding (check out the latest photo!) pump house cottage garden has yeilded some produce! The stocktake found – three raspberries, 5 pea pods and a lump of dirt. Ok the dirt doesn’t really count – but it came out of the garden and was consumed – so maybe a little leyway is required….

Whats Happening at The Pump House Cottage

Clearing the Garden - Room for a Garage?

Clearing, clearing, clearing – and clearing. Funny thing has happened – the garden just got a lot bigger! We have been going crazy clearing out weeds, and we have been regaining a shocking amount of space in the garden – the place is huge. Check out the photo! Unfortunately this newly cleared space is now harbouring piles of wood (bought from the dump – yes you can buy stuff from the dump!) and piles of greenwaste (seems the laws of conservation of energy apply in the jungle and the weeds do not magically disappear once you have pulled them out). Not sure what is going to happen to this space – wood pile? Mulch pile? Sheds? Or maybe a garage? Watch this space…

IMG_3182I cleared all of this garden island during one of Lauries afternoon sleeps – any spare moment is spent in the garden! I have now planted a couple of vege in here to see how they get on – have bare dirt – will plant!

The Vege Garden - 16th NovemberThe vege garden is making progress too – seeds have sprouted – though I am still awaiting the appearance of the elusive Lebanese cucumber – I haven’t given up hope yet… The patch looks pretty green from the photos – but don’t congratulate me yet – most of the greenery is weeds – being the novice gardener I am I don’t want to go crazy pulling them out until I know which ones are my sprouting seeds!

Potatoes! (Not Just Weeds) GrowingSome wanted growths are pretty obvious – check out the potatoes! But the potential scatterment of the cucumber seeds by the cats has even stopped me from weeding the potato rows – excuses, excuses! OK the weeding is on the list!

I think a lot of the weeds sprouting are borage – maybe I could start a cottage industry selling borage seedlings – anyone for borage??

 Hello?

Anyone?

The $23 Trademe Kitchen Installed!Up at the house – not much is happening – but the “new” kitchen is in!  And it is awesome! One small prob – we only have a hot tap at the moment – the cold tap doesn’t quite line up with the sink (???) but that is OK – Apparently there is a new cold tap in the “pipeline” courtesy of Al Brown again – thanks! But even this Logan Brown kitchen karma will not make me like their paua ravioli. The rest of the $23 trademe kitchen ended up being freecycled, and so did the scary stove – freecycle is the new black – or maybe green….

Even Trademe Won't Take This One!But trademe – and even freecycle – wouldn’t take the old kitchen – here it is in all its ripped out glory – exposed on the front lawn…. and now disposed of and in the big rubbish tip in the sky… somewhere near Brooklyn Wellington….

Another Kitchen? For How Much?

Ok, so we bought another kitchen! This time we paid WAY too much – a whole $25!! Thanks Trademe! We actually bought the kitchen because it came with the option of a $50 oven – score! There is a bit of a story with the kitchen too – it came from an Island Bay home that used to belong to Al Brown of Logan Brown fame – the new owners were getting rid of Al’s much worn and loved old kitchen and accessories – so we now the new owners!

Stove SocialisingYou can tell he is a cooking fanatic as the temperature etc markings have all been worn off the stove – what temperature you are setting the oven at is pure guess work! The IT guy is on to it though and the spare parts to fix the problem are on order – I may have a working oven in time for birthday and christmas baking! Here is the stove – living it up in the dining room – having just a stove hanging out with us at meal times is great – compared to a whole kitchen!!

Al Browns Old Kitchen - ApparentlyI think that Mr Brown may be a bit horrified at the way the rest of his kitchen has been employed –  it is now my latest vege plot – housing tomatoes, rockmelon, cucumber, corguette and aubergine. I think my fellow gardener CFD put it quite nicely when she said it was ‘up-cycling’ must remember that term – it is going to be applied to alot of re-use around here! 

Using a kitchen cabinet for a garden was the inspired idea of the IT guy – not just a pretty face! Now all sorts of ideas are being thrown around – no dig gardens, cloches, cold frames! All of that may be in the pipeline – I will have to start googling!

But – when you think about it $25 is alot to pay for (effectively) a raised vege bed…. but everything costs too much these days – don’t get me started! Watch this space to see if the veges thrive in Al’s kitchen – or if it all turns to custard!

Watch this space!